Kurdistan Region arrests man suspected of killing Turkish diplomat in Erbil

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced the arrest of Mazlum Dag on Saturday, three days after he was suspected of killing a Turkish diplomat at a restaurant in Erbil, the capital city of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, according to local news agency Rudaw.

“The main perpetrator responsible for the Erbil restaurant shooting on July 17 has now been arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Unit of Kurdistan Region, following a large-scale search operation. He has been named as Mazlum Dag,” read a statement from the office of the spokesperson of the KRG on Saturday.

Authorities from the Kurdistan Region and Turkey have repeatedly said they will work together on the investigation.

“We commend the security forces, counter-terrorism unit, and people of Kurdistan, and ensure that operations will continue until all individuals involved in the shooting are arrested and brought to justice,” the KRG statement added.

Kurdistan Region security forces provided further details on the arrest.

“We want to inform the public that the criminal Mazlum Dag, whose photo was published two days ago as wanted by the Kurdistan Counter Terrorism Facebook page was detained by the Erbil Asayesh (Security) Directorate and Kurdistan Counterterrorism Unit (Kurdistan CT), is in custody now,” read a statement released on Saturday.

Kurdistan CT is a division of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) oversees the intelligence and security community.

The security officials also posted a photo of the suspect who appears to have his wrists handcuffed behind his back.

Security officials from the Kurdistan Region later announced that another suspect who is believed to have assisted in the incident is in custody on Saturday.

“One of the Mazlum Dag’s accomplices in the terrorist shooting attack in one of the restaurants in Erbil — named Muhammed Biskiz also known as ‘Dizhwar, Mamand, Yousif’ — was detained by Erbil’s Asayesh (Security) Directorate and the Kurdistan Counterterrorism Unit (Kurdistan CT),” a statement from the Kurdistan CT said.

Muhammed Biskiz in custody of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on July 20, 2019. Photo: Kurdistan CT

No other identifying details about Yousif were immediately available. He also posed in a photo posted by the Kurdistan Region’s authorities.

The arrest follows the killing of an employee of the Turkish Consulate General at a restaurant in a western neighborhood on Wednesday. The KRSC identified Dag as a possible suspect on Thursday.